So...I may be writing this prematurely. My school district is on spring break, but after that, I still have the last part of April, all of May, and the first few weeks of June to get through. But because I'm rushing toward the ultimate prize of summer break, I'm going to count this time as "wrapping up the year."
In some ways, it's been a great year. After the disappointment of so many sub-part speech-language pathologist jobs, it was a relief to become a salaried employee again, with a union that secured a raise for us, no less. Working in the schools can be overwhelming, and my experience was not without its problems, but on the whole, I've enjoyed it more than I thought I might. As an interesting bonus, a lot of the kids in my school come from Spanish-speaking homes, so I've gotten a chance to speak Spanish on a regular basis again.
What hasn't been great has been the near constant rotation of illnesses and ailments I've had.
To be fair, the first major health problem of the school year was a severe allergic reaction that left an extremely nasty rash on my torso (I still have splotches on my skin months later!). I can't blame the allergic reaction on the kids or the crowded conditions at my school, but it does contribute to my perception that I've spent about half the year recovering from something.
Other than that, though, I'm completely blaming the kids (they produce so much snot!) and the conditions in my building. After my rash started to subside, I caught two colds in quick succession. I was feeling cocky after spending January mostly healthy, and then got hit with Covid in February. I spent the first part of March healthy, only to catch something that rapidly developed into bronchitis. Only now, during my spring break, can I say I feel completely recovered from that. At this point, having exhausted most of my sick leave for the year, I'm wondering if we're far enough into spring that I'm relatively safe from any more illnesses.
I'm also wondering in horror if every year will be like this one. I've gotten conflicting messaging on that point. My doctor said this was a particularly rough year for everyone as far as respiratory viruses were concerned. A long-time teacher at my school echoed this sentiment, saying that she had gotten sick so many times this year that it felt like it was her first year of teaching again. On the other hand, one of the administrators told me she thought there was something unhealthy about our building, and that when she was still teaching, she used to get bronchitis twice a year(!).
So, wish me luck. When I go back to work on Monday, feeling rejuvenated from a week off, I'd like nothing better than to experience a spate of good health stretching until at least the end of the year so I can comfortably wrap up the considerable amount of work I have to get done. And I'm hoping I can continue to refer to this year as the year of plague and pestilence, rather than calling it just another school year.